Santa Margarita River Trail

MODERATE 600 reviews

Santa Margarita River Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fallbrook, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
511 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

I-15 N to Fallbrook exit. Take Mission Rd. 5 mi. E; turn N onto Pico Ave. (becomes De Luz Rd.). Continue 2.4 mi.; go R @ fork onto Sandia Creek Dr. N. Parking area is in 1 mi. (just before bridge); trailhead is E of lot.

hiking
2 days ago

Easy, flat, shaded hike along the creek. Very popular hike for your furry 4 legged friends.

2 days ago

Nice Sunday afternoon hike. Kid and pet friendly.

hiking
9 days ago

This was a nice trail for an easier hike. It was very peaceful with the water sounds and having shade a large portion of the trail. We saw a coyote on the trail and a beautiful blue jay . We did a few offshoots so made it 6 miles. The loose dirt made it very dirty for the shoes and feet - never seen my feet to dirty after a hike.

16 days ago

Excellent hike. Great views. Easy trails to navigate. Only a few rock areas to work around. Very peaceful hike.

16 days ago

This has to be one of my favorites in the San Diego area. The trail is, for the most part, an easy walk, barring a few stretches that are narrow with loose dirt and rocks hindering, but nothing challenging.
We went during winter break at around 10 in the morning. There were about 5 cars in the parking lot. But when we got back there were about a dozen, so not too crowded at all.
It was a hot day at 84F but the trail is fully shaded and cool except in a couple of patches.
The best part was the sound of flowing water that followed us and this was in spite of not having had any rainfall this winter.
We walked down to the river, stepping on rocks without getting our feet wet.
There are benches along the trail to rest or just take in the view and listen to the water/birds.

hiking
18 days ago

Very pretty trail along the river. Dusty and some washed-out sections though; so, be ready for some creative footwork!

Nicely shaded throughout. Some rock scrambling near the start of trail may make footing dicey if you have a large dog on leash that pulls--careful!

walking
23 days ago

A relaxing walk/hike next to a flowing river! It was refreshing to see the cool water on the rocks! There was parking available and per signs (in December) the trail was open until 4:30P.

23 days ago

The trail is lovely, peaceful, and the river is great to be next to. There are a few steep rocky points.

I love it definitely recommend it!!!

25 days ago

The beginning isn’t much for MTB but after about a half mile it gets better

hiking
29 days ago

This would be a great hike except it’s littered with more trash than a dumpster plus there’s like a thousand people walking the trail with you. I would not do this hike again.

hiking
1 month ago

Many parts of the trail are shaded. Pretty views. You can pretty easily hike this trail with a baby in a carrier. More people on the trail than I would have expected.

hiking
1 month ago

Will def be back... kids loved it.

1 month ago

Loved this trail. It is predominantly flat, and an easy hike. easy access to streams, lots of shade. brought our dog, she loved it. Is a well trafficked and we'll maintained trail. Will definetly go again. dog friendly

walking
2 months ago

Nice scenery. Definitely one I️ would recommend you exploring. Has many hidden little paths to explore

2 months ago

It was beautiful and so much shade! Had a great time!

2 months ago

Nice Sunday afternoon walk with plenty of options on both sides of the river, but watch your step, dog and horse sh... everywhere! For some reason it is too hard for the owner to clean up after their pet.

2 months ago

Fun hike, with lots of shade.

hiking
2 months ago

There were a couple of ledges at the beginning that were a little dicey with two 55+ lb dogs on a double leash, but we were able to navigate them and will definitely be back! We met a quite a few new dog friends, and only one was unleashed but his human quickly put his leash on when he saw us coming. The humans we met along the way were friendly and kind as well. There was a decent amount of human and dog traffic, which I had hoped for as a solo hiker, but not so much traffic it felt crowded.

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